Posted: 1:24 pm Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
By Jeff Greer
National signing day is exactly three weeks from today, so let’s run down the biggest uncommitted players in our area.
The biggest name still out there is Palm Beach Gardens offensive tackle Avery Young. Young (6-6, 290, No. 1 on the Big Board) has been the most intriguing prospect of the 2012 class, keeping his recruiting process relatively hush until recent months. Young named a final three of Florida, Auburn and Georgia earlier this month, but also said Alabama and Miami were still in the hunt. He’ll make an official visit to Miami on Jan 20. The senior already took officials to the other four schools. The Crimson Tide are still pushing hard for Young, but the newly crowned national champs have some work to do.
Young has in-home visits this weekend with Florida and Georgia, and there should be more on the way. Alabama coach Nick Saban has already made an hour-long in-person visit with Young this winter.
More: Check the PBGametime Big Board to see the area’s top 75 recruits and where they’re headed
The top uncommitted athlete left is Glades Central receiver Jaime Wilson (6-0, 180, No. 9 on the Big Board). Wilson’s recruitment has been a bit bewildering. He had an unbelievable year (21 touchdowns, 931 receiving yards). He possesses fantastic route-running ability and great hands — plus a good football IQ — but he still only has three scholarship offers, from Western Michigan, Memphis and Marshall. Wilson said Miami has been in contact with him, and that receivers coach George McDonald planned to visit Belle Glade in the coming weeks. McDonald made a similar push for former Glades Central receiver Davonte Allen, but Miami never offered and Allen ended up at Marshall. Miami already has five commitments from receivers and a sixth from Palm Beach Central athlete Angelo Jean-Louis, who’s primary position is receiver. Wake Forest could still enter the picture.
Travares Copeland, Treasure Coast’s uber-athletic quarterback, has already made official visits to West Virginia and Rutgers, and he’ll be in Miami this coming weekend for an FIU official visit. Copeland (5-11, 175, No. 10 on the Big Board) is projected as an athlete at the next level, with WVU likely playing him at receiver. Cincinnati was in the picture at one point, but seems to have slipped.
Similar to Wilson, Seminole Ridge running back Gary Holmes‘ recruitment hasn’t quite taken off despite his production over his high school career. Holmes (5-8, 175, No. 16 on the Big Board) ran for more than 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns combined in his two years as a starting wingback for Seminole Ridge, but his size has caused college coaches to balk at seriously chasing him. His coach, Matt Dickmann, said Tuesday that Holmes will likely pick between Middle Tennessee State and Western Michigan, the two schools that have pushed hardest for him. Bryant has also offered Holmes a scholarship. He has official visits planned for MTSU and WMU over the next two weekends.
Glades Central has several other intriguing prospects beyond Wilson and Wake Forest commit Dominique Gibson. The eligibility status of linebacker Jatavis Brown and defensive back Crevon LeBlanc is still unclear after the duo was involved in an on-campus incident in November that prompted their suspensions from school. They were both top targets of Marshall’s all season. Cornerback John Brockman burst onto the scene as a senior, grabbing nine interceptions during the season and then snatching two more picks in the Nike South Florida All-Star game. Linebacker Don’Kevious Johnson and linemen Tavious Bridges and Brandon Rodriguez should also get some attention, though that may come after signing day.
American Heritage linebacker Silmore Dallaway (6-0, 220, No. 21 on the Big Board) is still waiting for his first offer. He said New Hampshire has been the school most recently pushing for more information on him. He’ll likely be a post-signing day signee. Fellow Heritage linebacker Zach Slafsky will pick from offers from FAU, New Hampshire and UMass and a preferred walk-on spot at Boston College. Defensive end Mike Wallace verbally committed to Stetson.
Big Palm Beach Central offensive lineman Edens Sineace (6-5, 300, No. 30 on the Big Board) will take an official visit to FIU this weekend and to Middle Tennessee State next weekend. He also has offers from Kentucky, Marshall, UMass and Bowling Green, though he hasn’t scheduled officials with those schools. Dwyer defensive tackle Mike Minns (6-0, 300, No. 29 on the Big Board) is scheduled to visit Middle Tennessee State this weekend with Holmes. Minns has an offer from MTSU, along with Marshall and FAU.
Dwyer linebacker Gage Batten and King’s Academy running back Brian Grove appear to be headed to the Ivy League. Brown has expressed serious interest in Batten, while Grove plans to visit Dartmouth this weekend. Grove has already visited Princeton, and may still visit Penn and Harvard.
Lake Worth quarterback Evan Moore has offers from Southwest Missouri and North Carolina Central, though he’s still hoping for others to come through for him. His teammate, receiver Bernard Davis, will visit Bowling Green next weekend. BGSU is considered the favorite to get Davis.
Hulking Benjamin offensive lineman Trenton Saunders already visited FIU this month, and he’s reportedly going to pick between FIU and Western Kentucky. Rivals.com lists a handful of scholarship offers for Boca running back Keith Byars, but he hasn’t taken any visits and doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to pick a school.
Gardens running back Alex Clark will be a very interesting case this spring. He almost certainly won’t sign on signing day, but Boston College, Wake Forest and Indiana have all expressed serious interest in the talented back. Clark’s goal now is getting his academic requirements satisfied so he can qualify for college. His recruiting process will be one to follow — Clark was one of the most talented athletes in the area this past fall.
Another intriguing prospect is Royal Palm Beach linebacker Teddy Matthews. Matthews (6-3, 220) made a name for himself this fall as a pass rusher and dominant defensive player off the edges. He’s received scholarship offers from Wake Forest, UCF and FAU, and could get more in the weeks leading up to Feb. 1. He seems like this year’s Wedley Estime, Atlantic’s former defensive end who came out of seemingly nowhere to sign with Virginia Tech.
Boynton Beach teammates Decarreus Mason (OL, 6-6, 270) and Audrey Dieujuste (ATH, 6-0, 225) have options. Mason will visit Middle Tennessee State next weekend, and he also has offers from Tennessee State, Florida A&M, Hampton and New Mexico. Dieujuste has scholarship offers from Bucknell and Hampton.
For a remaining list of all the offers and schools interested in the area’s top recruits, make sure you check out the PBGametime Big Board. You can follow me, Jeff Greer (@jeffgreer), and Matt Porter (@mattyports) on Twitter for regular recruiting updates.